Anyone can click a button and capture a digital photo. It’s what happens next -- polishing, organizing, and editing your photos -- that isn’t always easy. Fortunately, Mac users can download iPhoto 2, absolutely free -- and get themselves a copy of iPhoto 2: The Missing Manual.
iPhoto 2 is elegant and uncluttered -- but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful. The second version of this software is a major upgrade, and the online help files don’t do it justice. That’s where iPhoto 2: The Missing Manual comes in. Longtime Mac aficionado (and New York Times technology columnist) David Pogue will help you get the most out of iPhoto 2 -- and your digital camera.
If you haven’t yet bought your digital camera (or are planning to upgrade), Chapter 1 offers expert advice. (Which features do you need? What do you need to know about memory capacity? Battery life? Image resolution settings?) Then, before he even gets to iPhoto, Pogue gives you a thorough grounding in the “artistic” side of taking digital pictures: stuff most “software” how-to guides don’t cover. What’s the “rule of thirds,” and how can it improve the composition of your photos? How do you avoid backgrounds that distract from your photos?
Pogue shows how to go beyond simple snapshots to take better action and sports photos; portraits and self-portraits that truly capture their subjects; better pictures of your fidgety kids; better travel photos, indoor theater and museum photos, even better underwater pictures. (That’s assuming you’re equipped for it. Digital cameras are not born waterproof!) There’s even a tip on avoiding red-eye without using your camera’s blinding “red-eye reduction” features.
By now, you’re itching to get your images into iPhoto 2. Part II covers all the basics: importing, organizing, and filing photos, searching and finding images you’ve filed, and editing them to fix lighting or composition problems. You’ll especially appreciate iPhoto’s major improvements in keywords -- and the new Keywords palette, which simplifies both keyword assignments and searches. And, while iPhoto’s still no Photoshop, Pogue covers its significant photo-editing improvements -- including the Enhance tool for “punching up” washed-out colors, and the Retouch tool for cleaning up blemishes, wrinkles, and other imperfections in your subjects.
Part III covers your myriad options for sharing photos you’ve brought into iPhoto 2: slide shows, prints you order over the Internet, hardbound gift books, web pages, emails (now you can use any email software, not just Mail), even QuickTime slide shows you distribute via Web, CD, or DVD (via iPhoto’s new integration with iDVD).
In Part IV, Pogue goes even further. Want to turn your photo into a screen saver or a desktop picture? Need to switch among photo libraries? Control how iPhoto exports images? Extend iPhoto with plug-ins? Extend it even further with your own custom AppleScripts (supported for the first time in iPhoto 2)? Back up your images with the equally new Burn to CD? All that’s covered here, and much more. With some help from Pogue, iPhoto 2 could be all the digital photography software you’ll ever need. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.